Poppies, Poppies Everywhere
Lilac Arch Press / 8 November 2022

Poppies, Poppies Everywhere!by Denise Leduc, Illustrated by Breanne TaylorPublished by Lilac Arch PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$15.99 ISBN 9781778286919 Some writers make it look easy. Such is the case with Aylesbury, Saskatchewan writer Denise Leduc, who recently published Poppies, Poppies Everywhere!, a well-written children’s story that seamlessly explains the importance of Remembrance Day via a grandmother and her granddaughter, Charlotte. It’s “a frosty November day,” but young Charlotte wants to go to the playground. “It had monkey bars and slides, her two favourite things!” Her grandma—depicted uncharacteristically and attractively with long grey hair and in trendy, rolled-up, stovepipe jeans—has other ideas. It’s Remembrance Day, and the woman leads Charlotte across the park to purchase commemorative poppies. “You wear it close to your heart,” she tells her still miffed granddaughter. After hot chocolate in a coffee shop—Louisiana-based illustrator Breanne Taylor shows Charlotte kneeling on her chair, as a child might—Grandma explains that they’re going to attend “a ceremony to show we care.” It’s noteworthy that Leduc’s not fallen for the easy shortcut of naming emotions in this important story. When “Charlotte touched the poppy on her coat,” we know what she is feeling. Through descriptive writing, we experience the collective quiet…

What If You Could?
Shadowpaw Press / 8 November 2022

What If You Could?by Lynne Harley, Illustrations by Kiram AkramReview by Michelle ShawPublished by Shadowpaw Press Premiere$16.99 ISBN 9781989398463 What If You Could? by Lynne Harley is a wonderful book for all ages with a deep and profound message that will resonate with every reader. The author cleverly uses the familiar story of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly to highlight the different “inner voices” we all experience. “One grey and rainy morning, a caterpillar, as caterpillars do, was eating a big, green leaf, munching, crunching, thinking, too.” One of the voices the caterpillar hears is positive and loving and encourages him to dream big, exciting dreams and to let his imagination run free. The other voice is “cold and quite mean” and full of “know-it-all advice”. This voice sternly tells the caterpillar: “forget it, little caterpillar. From this branch, you won’t go far! … HA! Who do you think you are?” Lynne Harley has spent forty years as a social worker and a transformational life coach, so it’s not surprising that this book is so profound. Through her work she encourages individuals to believe in themselves. She says this book speaks to the power of listening deeply to our…

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